Tucson Daily Citizen from Tucson, Arizona on February 12, 1976 · Page 26
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Tucson Daily Citizen from Tucson, Arizona · Page 26

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Tucson, Arizona
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Thursday, February 12, 1976
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Page 26
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EDITORIAL PAGE Tuition measure a premature step Lawmakers backing a measure that would force most of the state's community colleges to charge tuition apparently have let their salutory sense of thrift obscure their better judgment. The bill was introduced into the House Appropriations Committee last week after the State Board of Community Colleges rejected the legislators' proposal that it initiate tuition at Arizona's two-year institutions. Understandably, the lawmakers are interested in cutting rising state costs to support the community college system. Currently, about half the bill for the system is paid by the state, with local community college districts picking up the rest through property taxes and registration fees. The state's share for the 1976-77 year could amount to $44 million -- $39 million beginning July 1 and $5 million in the form of a supplemental appropriation early in 1977. The tuition bill would authorize colleges with enrollments over 1,500 to charge tuition of up to $40 per semester, while reducing the amount of state aid per student by an equivalent amount. The result, of course, would be to force the institutions to impose tuition. All but two of the state's nine colleges would be affected. On its face, the bill appears to make sense in a year when the state is having a tough time making ends meet. But closer examination shows it to be premature, particularly because the community college board has a much better idea. The board recognizes that the state's financial burden is increased because of the complicated and uncertain formula for determining state aid. Under the existing method, the state's share of the bill is determined by enrollment figures, whose veracity often is open to question. In addition, the current formula requires a supplemental appropriation toward the end of each fiscal year. The state board has developed a plan to tighten up this formula, eliminating the possibility of local districts "padding" enrollment. In addition, the board's proposal would do away with the need for supplemental appropriations and would exclude state funding of some "marginal" academic programs. Under this plan, it is estimated the state could save $4 million to 36 million a year. That is considerably more than the maximum $2 million annually the tuition bill would save the state. Equally important to Tucsonians is that revising the state aid formula should not affect the property tax rate in the Pima Community College District during the coming fiscal year. The district's enrollment projection proved to be right on target, so its share of state aid during 1976-77 should be sufficient to carry it through to July 1977. If during subsequent years Pima and other community college districts find the financial squeeze is too much, then they can consider tax increases or can seek state board permission to impose tuition. The board, which could act upon such requests under its statutory authority, is convinced that local districts are in the best position to determine whether tuition is needed. Community college board chairman Arnold P. Jeffers of Tucson is correct when he says that tuition should be "the last avenue we should approach." The day may come when that avenue will have to be followed. But it is not here yet. Aid to Guatemala: Tribute to U.S. In the aftermath of the earthquake that devastated much of Guatemala last week, there is one aspect to the tragedy that Americans may well take pride in pondering. That is, the immediate response of the American government and private agencies to the pleas for assistance coming from the Central American country that has suffered an estimated 17,000 dead, 55,000 injured and over 200,000 left homeless. Giant U.S. Air Force planes have delivered a fully-equipped 200-bed hospital, staffed by 25 American doctors, to Guatemala City, along with medicines, water-purification equipment, tents and other supplies. The flights are continuing around the clock. Meanwhile, aid that already has arrived from private American organizations includes 47 tons of food and 11 tons of medicines. Here in Tucson, the Red Cross reports numerous spontaneous contributions for Guatemalan relief. This is but the latest example of American humanitarianism, of American response to the sufferings of other human beings, and the action cannot escape world attention. Moreover, whether long- remembered or not, the example our nation continues to set bespeaks highly of Americans as a people. We take these compassionate actions because we're a great nation, because -- despite whatever problems we have at home -- we're still capable of lending a hand to our fellow human beings abroad who, at a given moment, may be in desperate straits. Tucson Baila (Jiti^cn William A. Small Jr., Publisher Paul A. McKalip, Editor Tony Tselentis, 4ssoct'ate Editor Dale Walton, Managing Editor Asa Bushnell, Editorial Page Editor PAGE 26 THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 1976 No imagination Another f Chinese Wall 9 ? By ASA BUSHNELL Editorial Page Editor Having majored in history at college, I know a little bit about tricky multiple-choice history test questions. But this one tops them all: Was it in 1952 or 1976 that some enlightened Pima County leaders declared, "Let's get rid of Tucson's version of the Great Wall of China because it's making chop suey out of our economic development?" The answer, of course, is both years. Almost a quarter-century ago, progress-minded Tucsonians described the Southern Pacific tracks and right-of-way snaking through the Old Pueblo as a "Chinese Wall" in front of business growth to the east and the east-west flow of auto traffic. "Tucson's new growth justifies serious consideration of this problem now," remarked Andre Faure, then city planning director, in the summer of '52. Indeed, the SP wall was rated the community's No. 1 problem. It was the compelling reason for formation of a five-member citizens' committee, including still- active businessmen Leon Levy and Bill Naumann, to study redevelopment of the downtown area. To eliminate the "sacred iron curtain" between business and residential sections, the committee pondered three alternatives: 1) Tunnel the tracks underground; 2) Move the tracks west of the business district; 3) Specify some other solution (never specified). The sticky issue also proved an emotional issue. After all, the tracks originally had been a boon to our town, when the year was 1880 and most of the population of 10,000 was south and west of them. Now, the ribbon of rails threatened to strangle the community for which they had been the lifeblood. By 1955, the diamond jubilee of railroading here, the citizens had pondered and pondered aplenty. The studied result was the celebrated O'Dbwd Plan, named for the late J.J. O'Dowd, a committeeman with extra perception. The plan deduced that rerouting the tracks, just west of Main Street and then curving eastward along 15th Street, constituted the best possible solution to Tucson's downtown dilemma. Surely, it would be worth the estimated $20 million price tag. SP disagreed -- vehemently. Not only was the idea not practical, it was "not economically justified on any basis." In short, it was "untenable." To rub cinders in our civic eye, the railroad blamed the Old Pueblo's traffic woes on the narrow city streets, not the SP, and urged municipal planners to decentralize the business district. "It's Tucson's problem, and Tucson has to live with it," an SP spokesman observed. Last week, as Tucson continued to live despite the nasty SP incision, Supervisors Joe Castillo and Sam Lena surprised local history buffs by referring to Interstate 10 from Grant Road to 29th Street as "Tucson's answer to the Great Wall of China." Their designation disappointed me, since I knew we already have a "Chinese Wall." I thought they might have used the "Maginot Line," or something more concrete like that. The supervisors told a group of business leaders -- convened, rather ironically, to discuss quicker ways to revitalize the central city -- that the elevated freeway serves as a barricade, virtually cutting off the West Side from rejuvenation efforts. The big and the bad and the ugly four-mile stretch ought to be lowered, using a portion of the $42 million in federal funds no longer needed for the ill-fated 1-710, Castillo and Lena explained. As a feature of the beautification, they suggested the depressed freeway could be landscaped and the adjacent terrain could be dotted with small lakes. Actually, the freeway, completed in 1962, could become an occasional large lake itself. State engineer Bill Price said a ground-level span would be subjected to flooding from the nearby Santa Cruz River. "I don't even know what they are talking about," admitted the stunned Price. He indicated the disruption would be chaotic and costs would be prohibitive. Later, Castillo insisted the "Chinese Wall" concept was a minor off-the-cuff idea that received major attention and left the supervisors on the spot. Mainly, he said, they wanted the businessmen to explore every revitalization angle. While exploring, our business moguls might consider what really ails the freeway. It's not a "Chinese Wall," it's a game of Russian roulette each time a motorist tries to get on or off -an engineering nightmare that only Price and his teammates can undo. Candidates warned: Forget the ^liberal' myth By JOHN P. ROCHE ft seems at times as though there is not a streetcorner in Boston, Worcester, Springfield or Northampton unoccupied by a Democratic presidential candidate in our March 2 primary. They seem to be shuttling back and forth between here and New Hampshire and, because Boston's radio and television stations and papers have regional coverage, it is almost impossible to escape the noise. (I almost wrecked the car the other day reaching to tune out Ronnie Reagan, who suddenly oozed in between music.) As a close observer of Massachusetts politics over the past 20 years, let me devote this column to free advice for primary candidates who are not aware of our strange customs. For starters, it is preposterous to say that Massachusetts is a "liberal" state, that is, in any concrete ideological sense. The McGovern success in 1972 is hardly a litmus test of liberalism; one has to investigate the source of his victory. On the basis of careful statistical analysis with which f won't bore you, 1 submit that McGovern's majority was based on old-fashioned isolationism plus the student vote (half of his margin came from two congressional districts heavily populated with collegians). The blue- collar population is composed of what 1 call "continental patriots": they signed off that -war, but were prepared to clobber flag-burners. This is the kind of inconsistency that bothers intellectuals who like to put behavior into nice neat categories of "radical," "liberal," and "conservative" -and who are often hired by politicians to provide a "profile" of the electorate. The other day on a talk show I heard an indignant citizen bellow: "Anybody who believes in abortion should be taken out and shot." Does he fit into the "Right to Life" compartment? Then there is our provincial version of "radical chic" that seems p a r t i c u l a r l y strong among professionals in the suburbs. They have an endless supply of causes at arm's length. But if you want to get lynched at one of their receptions, adopt my line that there should be busing from Boston to the suburbs, that the Great Wall of Affluence should be penetrated. All of a sudden, they start talking about the virtues of "community," the "neighborhood school," and those other values which in the (maybe more profane) mouths of South Bostonians are considered "racist." Moreover, there is no point in collecting a bunch of local Democratic magnates, shining them up, and expecting them to deliver. There is not a Democratic politician in this Commonwealth who could deliver the mail; Ted Kennedy will be in the Senate indefinitely, but he has no coattails (as was the case with John Kennedy in state elections). And what is true of Kennedy is obviously more true of state senators, state reps, mayors, aldermen and congressmen. To conclude, my Democratic friends, come and by all means spend, spend, spend -- o u r economy needs it -- but if you have a battle plan based on our "liberalism," throw it away -- you may, as I have, learn to love this zany, unpredictable political universe. Good luck! Copyright 1976 a Job applications _ - -- - f Questions you can t ask By WILLIAM F. BUCKLEY Occasionally a newspaper carrying my words will mistakenly ascribe them to Art Buchwald, even furnishing a picture of him (most recently this brought from Buchwald a note, "Bill: how do you manage to stay so young?"). I wish to record that what follows is not a column by Art Buchwald. ft is a column by me, WFB, and it features a communication by the attorney general of the State of Wisconsin. So far as I know, it is not a hoax. The communication is entitled, "Employment Application Form Questions Which May Lead to Discrimination." The communication is designed for employers in Wisconsin who desire not to break the law, especially Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which some of us will remember as the law Sen. Barry Goldwater voted against on the grounds that it was unconstitutional. Perhaps it isn't unconstitutional, but it is certainly a lot of other things. The attorney general's office wishes every Wisconsinite to know that "when he inquires into any of (the enumerated) factors" -- i.e., in interviewing or soliciting information from a prospective employe -- "he is running a risk of encouraging unlawful discrimination." This is so even when you don't act on the information -- the mere asking of the questions might tend "to discourage women or minorities from even applying for jobs," Here's a list of what you can't ask. "Age? Date of birth?": You might find yourself violating the laws that prohibit age discrimination. "Arrest?": Absolutely not. An arrest is no indication "whatsoever" of guilt, and "historically minorities have suffered proportionately more arrests than others." "Available for Saturday and Sunday work?": No. You see, some people "belong to religious sects that prohibit work on Saturday or Sunday." For some reason, the attorney general appears to show no concern for people who belong to religions sects that prohibit work on Wednesdays; or, for that matter, to sects that discourage any work at all. "Children under 18? Number of children? Age of children? What arrangements will you make for care of minor children?": No sirree. "The purpose of these questions is to explore what the employer believes to be a common source of absenteeism and tardiness. But why explore this area in such an indirect way, and in a way which applies only to women for all practical purposes?" The Civil Rights Act of 1964 forgot to make men mothers. "Convictions?": "Probably unlawful. See Carter v. Gallagher, 451 F. 2d 315 (8th Cir. 1971). This is because some minority groups in our society have conviction records substantially in · excess of the average . . . ." "Credit Record? (Charge account? Own your own home? Own your own furniture? Own a car?)": No. "Because minority persons are far poorer on the average than whites, consideration of these factors has an adverse effect. . . ." "Eyes? Hair?": "Eye color and hair color are not related to the performance of any job and may serve to indicate an em- ploye's race or religion." What if you want a natural blonde to advertise a lipstick that goes with natural blonde hair? "Friends or relatives working for us?": No. You may have a disproportionate number of nonfemale, nonminority friends. "Height? Weight?": No. Such questions might have "the effect of excluding above-average percentages of women and members of certain nationality groups." The next five are anti-sexist, proscribing, "maiden name?" "marital status?" "Mr., Miss, or Mrs.?": (" . . . Simply another way of asking the applicant's sex . . . .") The list closes with "Widowed, divorced or separated?": "Recent statistics show that many more black than white persons are either widowed, divorced or separated . . . ." What I would like to do, if [ lived in Wisconsin, is file a citizen's suit against the attorney general for sponsoring a document that is itself sexist and racist in its implications, r would have him tried and convicted, and sentenced to eat his communication, all six pages of it, in public. One wonders what questions one would be permitted to ask a prospective juror at the attorney general's trial. If you asked, "are you bright?" and the answer was affirmative, then clearly the AG would not be tried by a jury of his peers. Copyright 1976 Once over lightly By BILL VAUGHAN The price of food went up last year for the average family of 3.2 persons. Just as a suggestion, how about telling old Point Two to move out? School reunions are interesting to teachers who notice how much older their pupils have gotten and to the pupils who are struck by how much younger the teachers are. * « * ' Some people talk to iheir house plants and even sing to them, while others believe they thrive best on a policy of benien neglect. « * * The politician who gets 40 per cent of the vote in a primary can be considered to have done well. And many a man figures he's ahead if his approval level around his house runs that high. t * » Our forefathers started pretty nice little colleges for what it costs to go to one today. * * * These sports Halls of Fame are odd, filling up with players and coaches while ignoring the games' great lawyers agents and labor rfsentiators. . ' f

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